Esquire experience: Deworming in Sekinchan

Don't laugh. It's good for you.

We list down 50 things no man should be without this year in our January No Issue Issue - and one of them might gross you out. Our writer went to Sekinchan to deworm her ears. And she has lived to tell her hole-y story.

In Sekinchan, there is a very famous ear deworming therapy. Offered at a minimal price of RM15, it is said to help relieve skin irritations, sinus, headaches and toothaches. Yup. Toothaches.

My family heard of the therapy from a relative and before I knew it, I was already strapped in my family car to hunt the place down. My ear canals were already itching, like there were living habitats trying to crawl out of it. “Wait a little longer,” I found myself telling my imaginary worms.

When we finally arrived at Sekinchan, tracking down the house would have almost been impossible without the help of trusty navigators (read: a GPS) or a specific address. The “Deworming Place” was easy to spot, though, as it was the one house with the most cars parked outside.

Maybe these cones could be used for giant ice-creams after treatment? Maybe not.

A man in his fifties came out and ushered all eight of us to take a seat. There were already a couple of people who were under therapy, with weird looking funnels sticking inside their ears. Some looked uncomfortable. Others just closed their eyes and went to a place where worms and humans lived together in mahjong harmony.

“Quick, a bus is on the way – we won’t have time for you when it arrives”, he exclaimed with a frown.

We grabbed one of the mini stools that were no higher than our ankles and waited patiently for the man to serve us. Both his hands rested on his sides as he anxiously rushes his lady co-worker who was cleaning the used plates. She knocked the worms off the metal plates on the floor after each usage, wiped it clean and places a freshly burnt coil on it to be used again. Then, it began.

The man placed a one-feet tall cone on each plate that holds a funnel at the end for patrons to stick into their ears. He placed the plate in front of me hastily, as I slowly figure out the perfect angle to get the most out of the fumes exiting the funnel. I fidgeted for about a minute before I felt comfortable. Worms were supposed to be dropping out of my ears now, but there wasn't an expected tingling sensation. I could hear the hot-coil plate sizzling from the bottom of the cone. At times, the strong coconut oil-scented fumes were too much to handle, so it caused some to choke when they tried speaking during the therapy. That meant no one could ask me about when I would be getting married during this time.

After the 10-minute procedure, the man removed the cone from my left ear. And suddenly, he let out a scream (or a manly exclamation).

So that's why we couldn't hear mom telling us to clean our rooms...

On the plate were two types of worms. One was a thread-like white worm, which is common for everybody after the therapy. The other type was yellow in colour, rounder in shape, fatter and significantly bigger. Yup. I had the fat yellow ones–and quite a number to boot.

At least I didn't have an unknown liquid substance that ended up in the cones after therapy by two of the other patrons there. When they asked curiously of its nature, the lady at the corner told them that it was trapped excess liquid in their ears that had to be excreted. Safe to say, you should eat your meals well before coming here.

Unless you have a bad back or an impatient attitude, the therapy should be a breeze to finish. Each side of the ear gets a quick five minutes-worth of coconut-oil fume going into your ears to irritate the worms, with a minute-long break in between while they replace the coil plate for the other ear.

After the quick session, some from the group remained skeptical about deworming. As far as I am concerned, I’m paying RM15 to feel clean, and I definitely did. My toothache, however, was still there.

"Deworming Place"
Contact: 019-208 7409, 013-299 8256 or 013-607 4779

Read our other pieces on things to watch in 2013, including:
2013: Two Guys' Wooden Bow Ties
2013: Future Music Festival Asia
2013: Local music to watch
2013: Burger Kaw Kaw
2013: Pastel Lite

Words and photographs by Natalie Chai.

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